LTA’s time for Talking is over, It’s now time For action
The Land Transport Authority has begun its crackdown to flush out dishonest officers involved in the alleged driving licence scandal. This is not the first time this issue has been raised publicly and it won’t be the last unless this new investigation removes those responsible and puts in place systems and processes that would make it impossible to engage in corrupt practices. The new structures would have measurers for early detection of any unlawful activity and early intervention.
This will firmly shut the door to outsiders including driving school instructors who will attempt to infiltrate the system. The key lies with those officers manning the LTA stations. If they say no to people trying to bribe them to issue a licence without going through the proper tests that’s the end of the matter. They should then report those people to FICAC. The public perception about the LTA is not good. It is widely rumoured that driving licences are allegedly being given out using corrupt means. This was confirmed when the Fiji Sun conducted a survey which exposed what appeared to be a well entrenched system of alleged corrupt dealings to obtain driving licence. There are many allegations out there against the LTA. While they remain allegations until proven, they indicate that a problem exists that needs to be looked at urgently. Members of the public are encouraged to report complaints to the LTA. If they don’t have any faith in the LTA, then they should report to either the Police or the Ministry of Transport so that their grievances can be dealt with promptly. People who have complaints and have reported allegations to this newspaper have been advised to lodge them with the relevant authorities. The ball is now in LTA’s court to act and restore public confidence in its service. It’s chairman, Vijay Maharaj, is already on to it and is calling for the list of all driving schools and their instructors.
In addition, all LTA officers dealing with these driving schools need to be interrogated as part of the routine investigation. Proper documentation should be in place to record every transaction and activity made before the issue of a licence. It should be mandatory that all tests should be conducted by more than one examiner supervised by a senior officer to ensure no shortcuts and no corrupt activities.
Immediately, the LTA should review all licences issued in the last six months, especially those generated from driving schools. This might require holding random driving tests (Road Code and practical) for licence holders. This may sound extreme but it is one way of finding out whether the licence holders underwent legitimate and proper tests and passed. We should all be worried because we could have many unqualified and untrained drivers on our roads who have not read or even being tested about the Road Code. They might have gone through the tests, failed but still went ahead and got their licence.
Does this make us wonder why we continue to see road accidents happening at an alarming rate? It tells us that the standard of driving is appalling and this could be linked to this alleged scam. We now have an opportunity to settle this once and for all. We have talked a lot about it in the past. Now, it is time for action.
It doesn’t mean they have lost they are not part of our programme, they still are. Ben Ryan Team Fiji 7s head coach